Nature, Warm and Fuzzy

I was hosting a guest from Europe, and we were touring Milford. She wandered off on her own, and I caught up with her as she was about to put some berries in her mouth. Poison berries, from a pokeweed. I stopped her literally with the berries at her lips.

How could someone visiting a strange continent think it is cool to just pop things picked off an unfamiliar plant into one's mouth? Well, my guess: the prevalent idea that "natural" things are generally good for you, and "artificial" things usually bad. I recall someone else actually saying to me once, "Well, it's all natural: how bad could it be for you?"

When I noted that rattlesnake poison and toadstools and radon are also all natural, she was a bit flummoxed.

I just encountered a particularly amusing example of this sort of nature worship on a bottle of weed killer I purchased: The label read: "Active ingredient iron, derived from natural sources."

It's good to know they aren't getting their iron from the spirit world.


  1. I don't know the woman, Gene, but it's possible she contemplated spending more time with you, and decided the berries were the better route.

  2. Anonymous9:49 AM

    the world is my metaphysic, I shall not want. . .ever seen a bottle of Burt's Bees shampoo? "97.4% Natural" they claim! the rest, we are left to assume, is supernatural. I washed my hair with some liquid Jesus last night!


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